The Conversation: Early Reviews Are In, So What Are People Saying About 'Prometheus'?

The Conversation: Early Reviews Are In, So What Are People Saying About 'Prometheus'?

May 30, 2012


Wondering how Ridley Scott's Prometheus is but you're worried about plot spoilers? Here I am to save the day, because though I have not yet seen the highly anticipated sci-fi blockbuster I bravely ventured through the reviews and tweets to come up with a conversational consensus that is safe for your curious but not too curious eyes. There are still some spoilsports, though, as in negative responses that might be cause for your alarm. But I think there's a balanced enough crop of commentary here to still keep you intrigued if not, understandably, expecting the greatest thing since the invention of fire.

Basically the reactions, favorable or unfavorable, tell us that it's a magnficent visual spectacle with must-see art direction and surprisingly satisfying 3D. Also, everyone seems to agree that Michael Fassbender is worth gazing at, as usual, and there are some interesting, provocative ideas within the script, regardless of whether all the ideas completely work together in the same stew. Everyone agrees it's not better or even as good as Alien or Aliens (we all expected this unavoidable comparison), though in this cynical era nobody should be shocked by this. At least it's supposedly better than Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection and the two Alien vs. Predator movies?

Even with a few bits ruined for me in service to you readers, I'm still very much looking forward to the splendor on the screen as well as some of the sexual subtext hinted at by critic David Sexton below. If you're in Europe, where it has already opened, let us know your own thoughts by dropping a comment. Hopefully those of us in the U.S. can sustain excitement a little bit longer, until it opens here on June 8th. 


What are people saying about Prometheus? Here's The Conversation heard around the Internet:

It was AWESOME. Loved it. Truly breathtaking, incredible, spectacular, thrilling sci-fi at its best. There’s a lot of freaky, disgusting, tense moments, but not outright ‘scare the shit out of me’ personally. You’ll dig. - Alex Billington, @firstshowing

I can confirm that it is awesome. Not only is it thrilling, but it leaves you asking questions. (remember, Damon Lindelof is involved after all). Sadly, every trailer/tv spot gives away the story’s biggest “twist”, but I think the movie is enjoyable regardless. - Peter Sciretta, @slashfilm

Not everything has been spoiled by the trailers. Still a bunch of surprises. It's simultaneously what you're expecting and not what you're expecting. Has some great moments. It also requires you to engage and think along with it - you have to participate, which I like. - Evan Dickson, @evandickson

It’s far from the game-changer some had hoped for, and it may in fact leave some viewers entirely baffled. [...] Perhaps more than any other film, ‘Prometheus’ is reminiscent of Chris Nolan’s ‘Inception’: it’s slick, gorgeously designed and scattered with intriguing concepts. But there’s just no real power behind it. The characters are thin and emotionless, the plot twists are predictable and the entire thing seems built on ideas plucked from superior predecessors - Tom Huddleston, Time Out London

PHENOMENAL!! A new sci fi epic has been born!! My mind=blown. - Andrew Freund, @andrewfreund

Absolutely nuts. Not perfect by a stretch but there are ideas here you wouldn't expect a studio to touch with a 10ft pole - Robbie Collin, @robbiereviews

The first two acts of "Prometheus" are fairly tremendous -- 2 or 3 classic fright scenes, some strong acting, good 3D. The last chunk is trying to serve too many masters and becomes muddled, though not cripplingly so. - Daniel Fienberg, @HitFixDaniel

Lower your expectations. It's not that good. The problems with Prometheus feel like Lindelof problems - a clunky script & thin layer of ideas with no depth to them. Pure LOST. - Devin Faraci, @devincf

Honestly, I thought Prometheus was a dumb, gorgeous mess of cliches. Lots of individual bits to admire, but it never feels cohesive. Rolled my eyes a lot. At least 1080 degrees of eye rolling. - Olly Moss, @ollymoss

This elaborate science fiction freakout takes gradual shape as a hot, writhing chop suey of ideas, not all of which necessarily belong in the same pot. Watching Scott slice and dice the ingredients -- and much of his cast, to boot -- is thrilling one minute, faintly deflating the next, like witnessing a masterchef trying to satisfy your order and top it with added, incongruous flourishes just because he can. - Tim Robey, Telegraph

Stuffed with interesting ideas - possibly too many - but struggles to escape need for spectacle, and shadow of the original. That being said, would it surprise you if I told you that Michael Fassbender is amazing in it? - Oli Lyttelton, @olilyttelton

He's like HAL 9000 with better cheekbones. In a particularly witty touch, Fassbender's droll performance takes its cues from Peter O'Toole in "Lawrence of Arabia," a clip of which David continually watches as a model for how to behave around humans. - Justin Chang, Variety


Scott doubles his Alien pleasure with not just one but two strong female roles here. Rapace credibly expresses her character's combined scientific and religious convictions -- ”It's what I choose to believe,” she insists -- and is more than up to the physical requirements of some very intense scenes. Theron is in ice goddess mode here, with the emphasis on ice (and this just as her turn in Snow White and the Huntsman is about to open) but perfect for the role all the same. - Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

Ridley Scott has counter-evolved his 1979 classic Alien into something more grandiose, more elaborate – but less interesting. In place of scariness there is wonderment; in place of tension there is hugely ambitious design; in place of unforgettable shocks there are reminders of the original's unforgettable shocks. - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

One thing that Prometheus isn’t is an Alien-clone. Alien was a film that embraced its horror-in-space format, and after a slow-burn set up and magnificent central gore moment as the mini-alien bursts from John Hurt’s chest settled into a brilliantly shot monster movie before Sigourney Weaver’s final memorable battle. While Prometheus has some striking chilling moments it never plays the all-out horror card, instead developing the science alongside the action and punctuating the film with moments that jolt and amaze. - Mark Adams, Screen Daily

Alien was always very nastily sexual, about horrific penetration (sharing this out very fairly between the sexes), nightmarish insemination and unstoppable contamination. Here that gyno-horror has been ratcheted up a couple of notches — and cunningly linked to the great horror of old age. So Prometheus isn’t the whole new mythology that Scott’s been claiming but it does show him completely reclaiming the franchise. - David Sexton, London Evening Standard

The best Alien installment in decades; still, can't touch the first 2 flicks. Fassbender steals every scene he's in. Idris Elba also great. Beautifully shot, at least one instant classic scene. Leaves you wanting sequel. - Larry Carroll, @larrycarroll

It might not pack the unbearable menace or blazing horror of the saga's first two movies, but it utterly eclipses the last two. It's exciting, tense and fully impregnated for sequels… - Jonathan Crocker, Total Film

Prometheus is the type of big budget sci-fi that studios rarely make. Extremely well done. Don't read reviews. Just go see it. - Steven Weintraub, @colliderfrosty


Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic) to join The Conversation.

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